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TestFlight is dropping Android support, here are some options

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On 2/19/2014 TestFlight announced they would be dropping Android support on 3/21/2014 (http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/02/20/testflight-beta-testing-and-deployment-service-is-dropping-android-support-march-21st/), so for your procrastinators you have a few days to find something else. For most people building mobile applications you are building for more than one platform, so if you were using TestFlight you have a problem. The following is a quick comparison of all of your various multi-platform testing distribution solutions.

TestFlight

  • Pros
    • Free
    • Supports iOS
    • Allows you to create organizations to contain multiple apps (Company A contains App A Android, App A iOS, etc)
  • Cons
    • No longer supports Android
    • Does not support Windows platforms
    • I am mad at them for dropping Android support with less than a month notice

Ubertesters

  • Pros
    • Supports iOS
    • Supports Android
    • Allows you to create organizations to contain multiple apps (Company A contains App A Android, App A iOS, etc)
  • Cons
    • Does not support Windows (what the website says is not true, if you try to create a project your only options are iOS or Android)
    • The free plan it not useful unless you plan on only have 1 app running on iOS and Android
    • Requires that you implement their SDK to upload a binary
    • Their Pro and Enterprise plans do not specify a price, which means it is probably expensive
    • There is no Jenkins plugin,  so you would have to create a script to handle uploading

HockeyApp

  • Pros
    • Supports iOS
    • Supports Android
    • Supports Windows Phone
    • Supports Windows 8
    • There is a Jenkins plugin for it (https://wiki.jenkins-ci.org/display/JENKINS/HockeyApp+Plugin)
  • Cons
    • For Windows, likely requires that you package it as an MSI so it will be extra work
    • Does not allow you to create organizations to contain multiple apps (Company A contains App A Android, App A iOS, etc). You have to assign testers to individual apps.
    • There is no free plan. You have to pay at least 9 a month.

TestFairy

  • Pros
    • Free
    • Supports Android
    • There isn’t a Jenkins plugin, but there are several command-line uploaders (including Gradle)
    • Automatic App updating; if a new build is uploaded it will auto update on devices
  • Cons
    • Does not support iOS; would require two different accounts, two different apps, two sets of redundant users, and two different processes to deal with iOS and Android
    • Does not support Windows or Windows Phone
    • Does not allow you to create organizations to contain multiple apps (Company A contains App A Android, App A iOS, etc). You have to assign testers to individual apps.

HockeyKit

  • Pros
    • Free
    • Supports iOS
  • Cons
    • Version 2 supports Android, but version 2 is not out yet
    • Host it yourself
      • It only needs PHP to run but it must be HTTPS
  • Does not support Windows
  • Does not allow you to create organizations to contain multiple apps (Company A contains App A Android, App A iOS, etc). You have to assign testers to individual apps.
  • DIY = Lots of time

Other Considerations

I ended up going with HockeyApp myself for the following reasons:

  • I didn’t want to have a different service, different app, and different set of users for every platform I target (iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 )
  • I didn’t want to have to go about implementing an SDK (Ubertesters) in every single one of my apps past, present, and future just to be able to upload

 

jvalentino
jvalentino
I live and work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a Principal Consultant for AppFoundation. I have been working with Java since 2000, Flex since it was in beta release, iOS development since 2008, and Sencha and Ext JS 4 since 2012. I have a Bachelor of Music with a double major in Music Performance and Music Composition, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science from Texas Christian University. I also have a Master of Science in Software Engineering from Southern Methodist University. I specialize in enterprise development, architecture, design, and continuous integration practices.

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